Denise M. Gardner

Extension Associate


    Food Science



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    About Me


    Denise M. Gardner proudly joined her alma mater in May 2011 as the Penn State Extension Associate in enology based in the Food Science Department at University Park. Gardner previously received a B.S. in food science with a minor in horticulture from Penn State in 2007 and a M.S. in food science and technology from Virginia Tech in 2009. 

    Today, Gardner works closely with industry members on making economical choices to improve wine quality. Her Extension programs focus on wine quality and have included a number of different topics: 

    • wine flaw identification, remediation and prevention 
    • wine microbiology
    • sensory evaluation of wines, ciders, and distilled spirits
    • winery cleaning and sanitation
    • sulfur dioxide chemistry
    • benchmark tastings
    • sparkling wine production
    • hard cider production 

    In addition to the various industry-based workshops hosted through Penn State Extension, she is a collaborator on several applied research projects and manages a small team of students to annually produce wine for research purposes. Gardner regularly participates in speaking engagements within the regional wine industry, including the EWE, B.E.V-NY, Wineries Unlimited, and Wine and Bev Expo Conferences.  Gardner has been serving as a Director on the American Society of Enology and Viticulture-Eastern Section Board since 2013, and is currently the Chair-Elect.

    Selected Publications

    Gardner, D.M., S.E. Duncan, and B.W. Zoecklein. (2017). Aroma Characterization of Petit Manseng Wines Using Sensory Consensus Training, SPME GC-MS, and Electronic Nose Analysis. Am. J. Enol. Vitic. 68: 112-119. Link:

    Homich, L.J., J.A. Scheinberg, R.J. Elias, and D.M. Gardner. (2016). Effects of Co-Inoculation on Wine-Quality Attributes of the High-Acid, Red Hybrid Variety Chambourcin. Am. J. Enol. Vitic. 67: 245-250. Link:

    Zoecklein, B.W., Y.S. Devarajan, K. Mallikarjunan, and D.M. Gardner. (2011). Monitoring Effects of Ethanol Spray on Cabernet franc and Merlot Grapes and Wine Volatiles Using Electronic Nose Systems. Am. J. Enol. Vitic. 62: 351-358

    Gardner, D.M., B.W. Zoecklein, and K. Mallikarjunan. (2011). Electronic Nose Analysis of Cabernet Sauvignon (Vitis vinifera L.) Grape and Wine Volatile Differences during Cold Soak and Post Fermentation. Am. J. Enol. Vitic. 62: 81-90.

    Devarajan, Y.S., B.W. Zoecklein, K. Mallikarjunan, and D.M. Gardner. (2011). Electronic Nose Evaluation of the Effects of Canopy Side on Cabernet franc (Vitis vinifera L.) Grape and Wine Volatiles. Am. J. Enol. Vitic. 62: 73-80.

    Gardner, D. and B.W. Zoecklein. (2009). Electronic Nose Analysis on the Effect of Prefermentation Cold Soak of Vitis vinifera L. cv. Cabernet Sauvignon Grape and Wine Volatiles. In Abstracts from Presentations at the ASEV 60th Annual Meeting 23-26 June 2009, Napa, CA. Am. J. Enol. Vitic. 60(3): 387A.

    Gardner, D.M. (2008). Innovative Packaging for the Wine Industry: A Look at Wine Closures. In Italian Trade Commission and UCIMA 2008 Italian Packaging Technology Award Reports.

    Bauerle, T.L., D.M. Eissenstat, J. Granett., D.M. Gardner, and D.R. Smart. (2007). Consequences of Insect Herbivory on Grape Fine Root Systems with Different Growth Rates. Plant, Cell, and Environment. 30(7): 786-795.


    • Penn State Food Industry Group Student Leadership Award, 2007
    • Outstanding Master's Student Award for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Virginia Tech, 2008
    • Best Student Enology Paper Award for ASEV-Eastern Competition, 2008
    • Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) Certification, 2013
    • Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), Level 3 Certified, 2015
    • College of Agricultural Sciences, Staff Laureate Trailblazer Award, 2015
    • Extension Director's Collaboration & Partnership Award, 2016


    M.S., Virginia Tech, Food Science and Technology, 2009 B.S., The Pennsylvania State University, Food Science, 2007